Be Careful When Deciding Who Is A Good Employee

Decades ago, I was a member of the accounting firm’s human resource committee. It was early in the days of HR management, and we tested things we had tried to see if they had validity.

Three years earlier, we had implemented a program of psych evaluation for potential hires. I had one summarized as “paranoid schizophrenic, but very bright.” It seemed to work. We decided to see how testing had worked for the ones we did hire.

The validation test

To do that, we took the results for about 200 people and asked their direct supervisor how they had worked out on the job. Not all had stayed, but of the ones who did remain, there was an interesting factor that filtered out. The ones with the highest management ability scores were not seen as the best, in some cases not even good, employees. Ones with lower skills on that metric were viewed better.

Clearly, the firm was imperilling its future by not knowing how to develop people with management skills.

It happens everywhere

It is not uncommon, and you need to know what to do when creative or management-skilled people appear in your organization. They won’t fit the traditional mould, and you must adapt or risk having too little talent to grow in the future.

It is true in education too. Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is an author and a leading authority on motivation, non-conformists, originality, motivation, and success. He has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for seven years running.

The least favourite students were the non-conformists who made up their own rules. Teachers tend to discriminate against highly creative students, labelling them as troublemakers.

Where do your children fit?

For You To Think About

Organizations don’t grow based on conventional thinkers. The business future depends on the ones who are creative and hard to manage. Learn more about how to do it.

You can see a 6-year-old presentation by Adam Grant here. The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

Take it to heart. The future depends on freeing these abilities.

I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate and effective ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at

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